1. Kalyan Banerjee
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    Kalyan Banerjee New Member

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    Born of rape

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Kalyan Banerjee, Aug 17, 2014.

    A 30 yr old woman who's happily married with a daughter discovers that she was born of rape. She empathizes with her mother but how would she react when she comes to know who her biological father is? It is not about an instant reaction. I am looking for her actions towards the father which might bring some form of closure to her. Avenging her mother's rape is not an option.
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    The problem is, the answer to this question is the essence of your story. If it isn't, it probably doesn't belong there in the first place. What you decide is her reaction, and how she is changed by the discovery, is not a single, fixed answer, and is what will ultimately give the reader a clear picture of who your character is.

    You could get many answers here. None of them will be right, and few if any of them will be wrong. That is why instead of trying to give you an answer, I prefer to give you a way to look at the answers instead.
     
  3. maskedhero
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    maskedhero Active Member

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    Your character is going to decide this fully on their own, and each person who is in this horrid position usually struggles with it...in their own way. It doesn't seem helpful, but Cogito is right, you gotta make this on your own. Reflect on who that woman has grown up to be, how she relates it to her own child, and you might find where her response, and closure, if present, comes from.
     
  4. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    I agree with Cogito. One example that comes to mind, however, is Olivia Benson, the detective from 'Law and Order: Special Victims Unit'. She is a child of rape and didn't know it until she was an adult. She grew up with an alcoholic mother, who had PTSD, and then later on, found her father, and even a brother. It's an interesting character arc. I think in these situations, a lot depends on how the mother treats the child born of her rape. Does she see her rapist in her son? Does her daughter remind her of the worst experience in her life? Or does she view them as one good thing that came of it?
     
  5. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    You could always also search for any online groups for people who are the product of rape. The Experience Project is one site that has people who have all sorts of different issues they're dealing with. I don't know if they have a subgroup for people with this particular issue or not, but it's worth checking. I wouldn't post anything, but you could always search through various posts to see what people actually discuss with respect to this issue. So, I'd suggest seeing what you can find through google. You may find not only online groups, but also articles or blogs or studies, etc. that talk about people who discover this sort of thing.

    Most people on this forum probably are not dealing with this particular issue, so anything we advise would be mere speculation, some of which may be useful and some of which will be completely useless. I'd search for any information I could find that involves real people who have actually experienced this sort of thing.
     
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  6. Kalyan Banerjee
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    Kalyan Banerjee New Member

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    Thanks everyone for your inputs. I understand that it cannot be a fixed answer. But what I need to know from you guys is your personal reactions to such a situation. The woman in question is emancipated enough to take the situation in her stride and not blindly want to avenge her mother's trauma. Yet she wants to confront her father.
     
  7. Kalyan Banerjee
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    Kalyan Banerjee New Member

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    Thanks everyone for your inputs. I understand that it cannot be a fixed answer. But what I need to know from you guys is your personal reactions to such a situation. The woman in question is emancipated enough to take the situation in her stride and not blindly want to avenge her mother's trauma. Yet she wants to confront her father.
     
  8. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think you're asking me how I would react if, as a 30 year old woman, I discovered I was the product of rape. The thing is, even though I can try to imagine it, I can't really tell you how I would react, because the situation is so far removed -- so different from anything that I have actually experienced that I couldn't say with any certainty how I would really feel or what I would think.
     
  9. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    Since you phrased that question indicating that you are discussing a fictional character, I am assuming you need my answer to be applicable to your character. So since I'm putting myself in the shoes of your character, tell me about my mother. What was she like? What kind of childhood did I have? Do I have a father, even if he isn't my 'real' father? Do I have siblings? What's my situation? Then I can tell you how I'd react in their situation.

    But if you are asking how my real me in my real life, would react if I found out, why do you want to know? Are you conducting a study of some kind? What relevance would my answer have to your already existing fictional character?
     
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  10. Kalyan Banerjee
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    Kalyan Banerjee New Member

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  11. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    @Kalyan Banerjee : That sounds like a really interesting story. I think I would feel grateful for my adoptive family, after I go through the fever of finding my birth mother and negotiating my relationship with her. As a modern woman, especially in the light the rapes that have been occurring in India in recent years, I would feel very strongly about the issue. However, I might have a hard time reconciling the idea of my father being this scum of the earth criminal my mother claims he is. I would believe her, definitely, but I might try to get closer to my biological father, to perhaps judge for myself. I might even go on a mission of trying to get a paternity test, and this is my novelist taking over, I might even devise a plan of getting hold of his DNA, to first establish whether he is even my real father, then take it from there. But I wouldn't want to put my biological mother in danger. Perhaps, I might just be too curious and do it anyway? Am I a hardworking, organised, by-the-book type of person or am I a bit of a loose cannon? That will determine how impulsive my actions will be.
     
  12. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    Just one minor point here -- I don't know all of the specific terminology in the Indian child welfare system, so if the story is taking place in India, feel free to ignore my comment. But, IF the story takes place in the United States, usually a child voluntarily relinquished for adoption by a birth mother does not go into the foster care system. There are so many people who are seeking private adoptions, there really is no need to do so. There can be instances where a mother voluntarily gives up parental rights and doesn't want anything to do with the child, but there would be a court hearing, so really the mother isn't saving anything as far as time.
     
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  13. ddavidv
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    ddavidv Contributing Member

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    I was given up for adoption at birth by a teenage mother. When we were reunited (I was in my 30s by then) my birth mother was (and has continued to be) vague about the actual circumstances of when sperm met egg. My instinct thinks the sperm donor may have been at least forceful about the act if not perhaps an all-out rape.

    With this in mind, what is my reaction? I'd like to punch the sperm donor in the face, but not enough to actually go and do it. I know who he is, where he lives and a little bit about what kind of a person he is. Frankly, the only time I really feel I'll want to see him is at his funeral. I don't hate the guy, because I don't actually know him. I dislike him, because of what I do know about him and what I suspect. I take some solace in the idea he has completely lost out on knowing the wonderful person that is me; this is sort of revenge, I suppose. It also pleases me that I'm more successful, and live a much higher standard of living than he does (I don't know that the old sap has ever ventured outside of the county he lives in).

    Side note: my birth mother, whom I get along with quite well, pleaded with me that I not contact Sperm Donor after she divulged his identity. Such is our relationship that I have honored that request, and will continue to do so. My own selfish desires to look into his eyes, shake his hand (or break his nose), etc I put aside. Any supposed benefit of meeting him doesn't appear to balance out the probable negatives.
     
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  14. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    You've added quite a few additional factors here that all will tie into how your character processes this. David's post is the most on point, and his opinion is one that you really need to seriously consider, since he has been in a situation similar to that which you describe. That said, his is only one experience, and it's important that you get a feel for the various sorts of responses that different people will have, as people have many different viewpoints.

    As far as exploring the rapist, there was a fascinating reddit thread a while back, wherein a man confessed that he was a rapist, and many other men weighed in, some confessing to having committed similar acts. Some felt badly after the fact, not even realizing what, exactly, they had done until years later. Others, though, were jerks and didn't feel badly. The thing about rapists is, that they're not all jump out of a dark alley with a knife kind of guys -- many women know their rapists. Many were happy to spend time with them and liked them until they were raped. So, if you're looking to flesh out the bio father's character, this might be very helpful. Here is a link that references the reddit post and links to it:
    http://lemuffinmistress.tumblr.com/post/28078080458/reddit-post-from-a-serial-rapist-who-admits-to-having
     
  15. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    That was a chilling read @chicagoliz . I remember reading it at the time and thinking, the fact police isn't all over these assholes' IP addresses tells enough about the world we live in. Nauseating.
     
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  16. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    Also, I should have mentioned that there will also be issues related to adoption -- again, people are all over the spectrum on this, but some people have a huge feeling of loss related to adoption and have a huge void from not knowing their biological parents. Others have no desire at all to know them, and sternly reject their genetically-linked relatives. Most people are somewhere in between.

    Jazz -- I think the big issue with the police is that firstly, they're overwhelmed just with reported crimes, and secondly, people can disguise IP addresses, use fake names, etc., and even if you got to the right computer, who's to say that someone else didn't use that computer while posting, or was just making up a story, or whatever. I think it's pretty astounding that people are even willing to admit (even to themselves, but especially to disclose to others) that they have done this sort of thing.
     
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  17. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    @chicagoliz : You know how they do that when someone claims to be suicidal on the internet? And for paedophiles? As a woman, I'd feel much safer if they at least tried. Some might hide but other might get caught. I know all this is idle fantasy because of the way everything is set up in this world of ours, basically, it's impossible to curb rape in any significant way with the current attitudes and legislature, even if you have dna evidence it in no way guarantees conviction so basically the whole thing is a bit of a joke. I agree, and you are right, them admitting it has been a bit of a breakthrough. Doesn't feel like much though.
     
  18. Kalyan Banerjee
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    Kalyan Banerjee New Member

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    Thanks everyone. Now I feel we're going somewhere with the plot. My character contemplates revenge for a while, but her conscience and her birth mother stops her from that. She then tries to find out why this man raped her mother. That is what my intention is actually. To explore the causes of rape, especially the psychosocial factors. No quantum of punishment is a deterrent as is evident from the scenario in India. Now rape is punishable by death here. Yet we see rapes happening every hour. And in most cases the rapists are known persons. So what is it that drives them to rape!

    Thanks ddavidv for your candid input. And I am going through the Reddit posts. That will give me some insight I believe.
     
  19. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yes, but are the executions happening every hour? A severe punishment means nothing if it doesn't happen.

    Edited to add: I also have to object to "drives them", with the implication that the men are helpless victims of forces beyond their control.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2014
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  20. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    What @ChickenFreak said. Law is pointless unless it is enforced. It is still near impossible for a woman to prove she was raped, unless she is horrifically physically injured. This leaves 99% of the rapists, and rapes, to go unpunished. They rape because they can. There's no higher mystery.

    On a biopsychosocial level, sex and aggression are normally closely related in the male brain, so certain men, with a lot more connection between the two than others, will do it because that's the only satisfying 'sex' they can experience (this is the typical sex offender in prison, compulsive and violent). Others will rape because of their own sexual inadequacy, either physical or psychological (usually power-reassurance rapists). Others, still, will rape if they get an opportunity. Others will rape because they are extremely sexually deprived due to lack of opportunity. Some will rape if they are put in stressful group situations (peer pressure) or in the presence of drugs. I am not saying that every man would rape under certain circumstances, but many would. Many who would, never do, but this is reflected in their own attitudes toward women and rape (typical misogynists who think rape is a victimless crime and all women are bitches and liars). This illustrates the magnitude of the problem.

    All in all, like I said above, due to lack of significant law enforcement in this area, most rapists and rapes are allowed to go unpunished. Any rapist with half a brain only needs to make sure he doesn't disfigure his victim, and he is free to go on raping as long as he wants. In India and in the West.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2014
  21. Kalyan Banerjee
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    Kalyan Banerjee New Member

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    We are actually deviating towards a discussion on rape. It is enlightening of course guys, but my real intention is to develop my plot with all the inputs I can get. It would be good if we concentrate on the situation that I had explained earlier. My character through her actions will explore all that is being said here. But the question is what should be her actions.
     
  22. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    I guess this aspect of your comment was misleading. I certainly didn't intend to go off topic, I was just replying to this.
     
  23. CMastah
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    CMastah Active Member

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    @OP, perhaps she could open up a rehab clinic for people who get thoughts of committing rape so as to find more positive outlets for their behavior? Since these people haven't acted on their desires, perhaps they could receive the mental help they need. This clinic could also supply drugs that inhibit sexual desire and for those who are driven by peer pressure or social expectations (not social expectations to be a rapist, I mean social expectations to not still be a virgin past a certain age), then seminars to raise self confidence and to meet a new social circle comprised of people who want to stay away from such destructive social expectations.
     
  24. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Similar to Jazzabel, I took it that you were trying to initiate exactly that discussion.

    She's your character, so it's hard to say what her actions should be. If I were in this position, my issue would be the idea that half of my genes came from a violent and contemptible creature. I would be fighting with the idea that I would see half of my genetic material as being evil. I would probably hope that that creature's behavior came from something such as brain damage or another issue that couldn't be tied to his genes, because I would want to be as separate from him and his crime as possible. I wouldn't be the least bit inclined to excuse him on environmental grounds, but I might search for information that the other people in his family, especially the women, were decent people.

    And I don't see the meaning of "emancipated enough to take the situation in her stride and not blindly want to avenge her mother's trauma." What is un-emancipated or blind about wanting a criminal to be punished?

    To me, the idea of a rehab clinic suggests a "rapist as victim" mindset. I also don't like it because it suggests that the MC is somehow responsible for preventing the crime that created her, as if she owes something to potential rapists. If I were to try to make change in the world in this situation, I'd try to change the overall culture, and in particular change the fact that rape is so very seldom punished. If we had a similar shrugging, "did the victim deserve it?", "boys will be boys", "we don't want to ruin the rest of his life by sending him to jail" attitude about murder, I suspect that the murder rate would skyrocket.
     
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  25. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    Here's the thing, though Kalyan -- you've got a lot going on here. Don't get me wrong -- it's all good stuff, great stuff really, to explore through writing. But you are the only one who's going to be able to determine how your character will react. And to know how she'll react, you need to spend a lot of time with her, writing a lot of scenes with her (regardless of whether those scenes are included in your final story). To know how she'll react to a particular person, or *with* a particular person, you've got to know that character, too, so you know how they're going to react to what your MC is doing. You've got a lot of very emotionally complex factors -- the adoption, the discovery of her conception from rape, the mother's rape, the father committing rape, the family's reaction to the discovery...

    I don't think that most people on this forum are in a position to tell you how they'd really react to any of those situations. The best thing to do is to discover how real people have reacted to these various situations, and get a feel as to what sort of reaction would be likely from your MC, given her other personality traits. But you've got a lot of research to do on these different things, and rape is one of them.

    Where does your story take place? You mention India and the attitude toward rape, and I see you are from India. Does the story take place in India?
     

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